Friday, 29 May 2015

Daily News Mail - News of 23/05/2015

L-G well within his powers to appoint officials, says Centre
  • Amid the impasse over division of powers in Delhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party unequivocally backed Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung on May 22, saying it was not mandatory for him to consult Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on matters such as appointment of officials.
  • Mr. Kejriwal cried foul, accusing the Centre of backstabbing the people of the capital and alleging that the Prime Minister’s Office was trying to run Delhi through the Lieutenant-Governor.
  • “Pre-Independence, the Queen of England used to send notifications to the Viceroy of India. Now, Jung ‘Saheb’ is the Viceroy and the PMO is London,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
  • A Gazette notification, issued by the Union Home Ministry late on Thursday night, said the Lieutenant-Governor would have jurisdiction over matters connected with services, public order, police and land.
  • It left matters pertaining to services of bureaucrats to be settled by the Lieutenant-Governor, allowing him discretionary powers to seek the opinion of the Chief Minister as and when the former deemed it fit.
Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)
This scheme was launched in March, 2009 with the objective to enhance access to secondary education(student between 14 and 18 years) and to improve its quality. The implementation of the scheme started from 2009-10. It is envisaged to achieve an enrolment rate of 75% from 52.26% in 2005-06 at secondary stage of implementation of the scheme by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of any habitation. The other objectives include improving quality of education imparted at secondary level through making all secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, removing gender, socio-economic and disability barriers, providing universal access to secondary level education by 2017, i.e., by the end of 12th Five Year Plan and achieving universal retention by 2020.

Important Physical Facilities Provided Under The Scheme Are:
(i) Additional class rooms, (ii) Laboratories, (iii) Libraries, (iv) Art and crafts room, (v) Toilet blocks, (vi) Drinking water provisions and (vii) Residential Hostels for Teachers in remote areas.
Important Quality Interventions Provided Under The Scheme Are:
(i) appointment of additional teachers to reduce PTR(Pupil Teacher Ratio) to 30:1, (ii) focus on Science, Math and English education, (iii) In-service training of teachers, (iv) science laboratories, (v) ICT enabled education, (vi) curriculum reforms; and (vii) teaching learning reforms.
Important Equity Interventions Provided In The Scheme Are:
(i) special focus in micro planning (ii) preference to Ashram schools for upgradation (iii) preference to areas with concentration of SC/ST/Minority for opening of schools (iv) special enrolment drive for the weaker section (v) more female teachers in schools; and (vi) separate toilet blocks for girls.

Implementation Mechanism Of The Scheme
The scheme is being implemented by the State government societies established for implementation of the scheme. The central share is released to the implementing agency directly. The applicable State share is also released to the implementing agency by the respective State Governments.

Revision Of Certain Norms Of The Scheme
The Government of India has approved the following revised norms of RMSA, with effect from 01.04.2013 :
  • To permit State/UT Governments to use State Schedule of Rates(SSOR) or CPWD Rate, (whichever is lower) for construction of civil works permissible under the RMSA.
  • To increase the Management, Monitoring Evaluation and Research (MMER) from 2.2 percent to 4 percent of the total outlay under the programme, with 0.5 percent of the 4 percent earmarked for national level and the rest of the 3.5 percent as part of the State allocation. In cases of States where even with this enhanced allocation of 3.5 percent MMER would not be adequate and would hamper the activities under the head, within the 3.5 percent of the overall State MMER component; variations across State/UTs can be approved by the PAB, subject to a maximum of 5 percent of the outlay in any particular State/UT.
  • To subsume the other Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Secondary Education– Information and Communication Technology (ICT)@ School, Girls’ Hostel, Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage(IEDSS) and Vocational Education(VE) in their existing form under the Umbrella of RMSA.
  • To extend the benefits of RMSA to aided Secondary Schools (excluding infrastructure support/core areas, i.e. Teacher’s salary and Staff salary) for quality interventions as per RMSA umbrella schemes components for aided schools.
  • To continue existing fund sharing pattern of 72:25 for the remaining of the 12th Plan the period for non-NER States and 90:10 for NER States (including Sikkim).
  • To authorize the RMSA Project Approval Board (PAB) of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to consider for approval Integrated Plan of the umbrella scheme of RMSA, including the four subsumed Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Secondary Education.
  • To authorize the release of funds to the RMSA State Implementation Society directly for all components of the RMSA umbrella scheme.

Midday Meal Scheme
  • The Midday Meal Scheme is a school meal programme of the Government of India designed to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide. The programme supplies free lunches on working days for children in Primary and Upper Primary Classes(Class 6 to 8) in Government, Government Aided, Local Body, Education Guarantee Scheme, and Alternate Innovative Education Centres, Madarsa and Maqtabs supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, and National Child Labour Project schools run by the Ministry of Labour. Serving 120,000,000 children in over 1,265,000 schools and Education Guarantee Scheme centres, it is the largest such programme in the world.
  • The central and state governments share the cost of the Midday Meal Scheme, with the centre providing 75 percent and the states 25 percent. The central government provides grains and financing for other food. Costs for facilities, transportation, and labour is shared by the federal and state governments.
The entire school education can be divided in to four parts, namely, primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary levels. The National Policy of Education (1968 & 1986) and its revised formulation (1992) envisaged a uniform pattern of school education (10+2 pattern, 12 years of schooling) across the states. Since education is on the concurrent list, i.e. state subject; the States & UTs are free to evolve their own pattern of school education. Eight years of primary education is envisaged in two stages: a junior stage covering a period of five years and a senior stage covering a period of 3 years. It needs to be mentioned that 8 years of compulsory education was envisaged as one integrated unit, although there were two stages in the cycle.
In twelve states primary education consists of Grades I to IV where as in rest of the states it is Grades I to V. The National Policy advocates Grade I to V at the primary and VI to VIII at the upper primary level of education. The states that have adopted Grades I to IV as its composition of primary level generally have grades V to VII as part of the upper primary education. Like elementary education, the secondary level of education has also got divergent composition across the states. While in 19 States & UTs, secondary stage consists of Grades IX and X; it consists of Grades VIII, IX and X in thirteen States & UTs (EFA the Year 2000 Assessment, Country Report: India). However, it may be noted that within a state, a complete uniformity is in existence but the type of institutions that offer school education (management) vary across the states and even within its districts and blocks. Different type of institutions that are in existence are schools run by government management, schools under the local bodies and private managed schools. The private managed schools can further be divided into private aided and unaided schools. In addition, private unrecognized institutions spread over across the country both in rural and urban areas are also in existence in large number. 

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (English: The Education for All Movement) (SSA), is an Indian Government programme aimed at the universalisation of elementary education "in a time bound manner", as mandated by the 86th amendment to the Constitution of India making free and compulsory education to children of ages 6–14 (estimated to be 205 million in number in 2001) a fundamental right. The programme was pioneered by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The expenditure on the programme was shared by the Central Government (85%) and the State Governments. The Central share was funded by a number of external agencies, including the World Bank, DFID and UNICEF.

Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan
Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), launched in 2013 aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions. The central funding (in the ratio of 65:35 for general category States and 90:10 for special category states) would be norm based and outcome dependent. The funding would flow from the central ministry through the state governments/union territories to the State Higher Education Councils before reaching the identified institutions. The funding to states would be made on the basis of critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans, which would describe each state’s strategy to address issues of equity, access and excellence in higher education.

The salient objectives of RUSA are to;
  • Improve the overall quality of state institutions by ensuring conformity to prescribed norms and standards and adopt accreditation as a mandatory quality assurance framework.
  • Usher transformative reforms in the state higher education system by creating a facilitating institutional structure for planning and monitoring at the state level, promoting autonomy in State Universities and improving governance in institutions.
  • Ensure reforms in the affiliation, academic and examination systems.
  • Ensure adequate availability of quality faculty in all higher educational institutions and ensure capacity building at all levels of employment.
  • Create an enabling atmosphere in the higher educational institutions to devote themselves to research and innovations.
  • Expand the institutional base by creating additional capacity in existing institutions and establishing new institutions, in order to achieve enrolment targets.
  • Correct regional imbalances in access to higher education by setting up institutions in un‐served & underserved areas.
  • Improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities of higher education to SC/STs and socially and educationally backward classes; promote inclusion of women, minorities, and differently abled persons.

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